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PM meets Zalmay Khalilzad, Amnesty International chief in New York

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 22, 2019 | Last Updated: 9 months ago
Posted: Sep 22, 2019 | Last Updated: 9 months ago
PM meets Zalmay Khalilzad, Amnesty International chief in New York

Discusses Afghan peace process, highlights humanitarian crisis in Kashmir

Prime Minister Imran Khan at a meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in New York. Photo: PID

Prime Minister Imran Khan held on Sunday meetings with the US special envoy for Afghanistan and the Amnesty International secretary general in New York.

Khan is in New York leading the Pakistan delegation to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. He will address the session on Friday and highlight the humanitarian crisis in India-occupied Kashmir, originating from New Delhi’s August 5 unilateral and illegal actions.

On Sunday, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad paid a call on the prime minister. The two sides discussed various issues, including the Afghan peace process.

In an earlier meeting with Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo, Khan apprised him of the deteriorating human rights situation in India-occupied Kashmir.

The prime minister noted that even human rights organisations were not being given access to people in the occupied valley. He appreciated the role of Amnesty International in highlighting the situation in the disputed Himalayan territory.

US lawmakers, including Senator Lindsey Graham, were also due to meet the Pakistan premier on Sunday.

During the visit, the Foreign Office said in a statement, the prime minister will share Pakistan’s perspective on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, its current human rights situation and related dimensions.

PM Khan will avail the opportunity to articulate Pakistan’s stance on some key contemporary issues, the statement read. Overall, the centrality of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would be emphasised through myriad engagements.

Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo calls on Prime Minister Imran Khan in New York. Photo: PID

New Delhi controversially revoked on August 5 the autonomous status of the part of Jammu and Kashmir it controls. Hours before its move, it curtailed movement and shut down phones and the internet, bringing hundreds of thousands of troops in the occupied Himalayan territory.

The two nuclear-armed neighbours have since been locked into a war of words, with tensions heightening at the border. Split between India and Pakistan since 1947, Kashmir has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the two arch-rivals.

Earlier upon his arrival in New York, PM Khan was received by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, US envoy and other senior officials.

Lodhi earlier announced via Twitter that PM Khan would be coming to New York on “Mission Kashmir”. She said the UNGA will be a packed programme and the premier will also speak on foreign relations at the Asia Society & Council.

The Pakistan premier will also hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from various regions and participate in high-level UN summits on climate change, sustainable development, universal health coverage and financing for development.

The visit would bring huge foreign investment in Pakistan, Khan’s adviser on trade Abdul Razak Dawood told SAMAA TV.

Dawood said the government had kicked off fresh contacts with US officials. During the visit, he said, the Pakistani delegation would interact with representatives of 500 US companies, as well as with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund officials.

“The troubles spanning over a few months due to the lack of trust will end,” Dawood said. “I am quite hopeful and you will see the circumstances changed significantly until June.”

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